Meaning of Catharsis

What is Catharsis:

The catharsis is a purifying experience of human emotions. As such, the word comes from the Greek κάθαρσις (kátharsis), which means ‘purging’, ‘purification’.

As synonyms for catharsis, the words cleansing or liberation can be used.

Inside of literaturefor its part, the catharsis it is the purifying effect that the viewer experiences through a work of art. The concept was first devised by Aristotle in its Poetics.

As such, the Greek philosopher recognized in classical tragedies the ability to get the viewer to release his lowest passions through the aesthetic experience of theatrical representation.

In this sense, the tragedy offered the viewer a range of emotions, such as horror, anger, compassion, anguish or empathy, which allowed them to identify with the characters and their stories and, in this way, access the purifying effect produced by stage representation in its interior.

Hence, the tragedy is also instructive for its audience in terms of the decisions or interests that moved its characters towards their unfortunate end.

You may also be interested in Greek Tragedy.

Catharsis in Psychology

In the area of ​​the Psychologymore specifically in the Psychoanalysisauthors like Sigmund Freud return to the concept of catharsis Greek from a therapeutic point of view.

Therefore, catharsis is a method by which, during the therapy process, a patient is led to unlock repressed memories or experiences in his unconscious, generally associated with traumatic events of the past, in order to be able to talk about it. , become aware of it, and experience it emotionally.

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See also:

  • Psychology
  • Psychoanalysis

Catharsis in Medicine

In Medicineis called as catharsis the spontaneous or artificial expulsion of substances that are harmful to the body.

To trigger a catharsis, it is enough to inoculate a little of the evil that is affecting the patient to cause such a crisis that it generates the expulsion of harmful matter or humors.